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Report: Donnie Walsh nearly walked out after Thomas hiring

Aug 8, 2010, 8:36 AM EDT

Isiah Thomas is a polarizing figure in sports management. Some people think he’s the worst manager in the history of the NBA, while others think he’s the worst manager in the history of all sports, ever, in the history of the universe. And from a report this morning, Donnie Walsh is similarly wrapped up in that fierce debate.

The New York Daily News reports this morning that Walsh nearly quit after learning that Dolan had re-hired Isiah Thomas as a consultant, with a source saying Walsh finds the whole thing “distasteful.”

Now, bear in mind that Walsh has a history with Thomas prior to New York, hiring him as a coach in Indiana. Furthermore, Walsh thanked Thomas during the introductory presser for Amar’e Stoudemire, and was at least somewhat involved in the decision to send Thomas before LeBron James this summer for the last pitch to James in free agency on behalf of the Knicks.

So it would seem a little odd for Walsh to just go running off upon Thomas’ hiring. A more plausible scenario would simply be Walsh considering walking away based on any move that compromises his authority, if it was Dolan that made the decision to bring back Thomas. Expect the Knicks to get out in front of this one and have Walsh make some comments about his decision to bring back Thomas.

What is clear is that everyone and their mother is baffled by the Knicks’ decision to re-hire Thomas.

  1. bukes - Aug 8, 2010 at 12:59 PM

    The more likely scenario is Dolan trying to force Walsh to hire him as a gm and Walsh standing up for himself and compromising to take him as a consultant. Walsh may like him as a person but doesn’t want to be forced to hire someone that he fired initially. Everyone knows how much Dolan loves Isaiha. Isola’s account seems more plausible.
    http://www.nydailynews.com/sports/basketball/knicks/2010/08/07/2010-08-07_isiah_will_consult_nba_eyes_fiu_conflict.html

  2. Anonymous - Aug 8, 2010 at 8:45 PM

    Isiah Thomas may in fact be a good scout or evaluator of talent. What he is not is an executive. James Dolan has some sort of connection with Thomas that is illogical, but real. Donnie Walsh cleaned up a horrific mess and he deserves better than to have his authority challenged, or in any way made uncomfortable by Dolan. Dolan is free to hire Thomas and fire Walsh, or hire Thomas when Walsh leaves. It would surely mean D’Antoni walks and the fans go nuts, but Mr. Dolan is free to do as he pleases and live with the outcome. And, it boggles the mind that I am even addressing this. Thomas needs to move on with his life. Dolan needs to think of the fans.

  3. John Pileggi - Aug 8, 2010 at 8:47 PM

    Isiah Thomas may in fact be a good scout or evaluator of talent. What he is not is an executive. James Dolan has some sort of connection with Thomas that is illogical, but real. Donnie Walsh cleaned up a horrific mess and he deserves better than to have his authority challenged, or in any way made uncomfortable by Dolan. Dolan is free to hire Thomas and fire Walsh, or hire Thomas when Walsh leaves. It would surely mean D’Antoni walks and the fans go nuts, but Mr. Dolan is free to do as he pleases and live with the outcome. And, it boggles the mind that I am even addressing this. Thomas needs to move on with his life. Dolan needs to think of the fans.

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